Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Dog Named Blitz - Chapter Two: "Pre Dog" Part 2

For background on this serial, please click here

You can also start at Part One of this chapter

One thing that I had not appropriately planned on my path to a dog was the reaction of my wife. My lovely bride had always been supportive of my hunting and fishing lifestyle. While her preference was that I not spend as much time doing it as I have done, she recognizes that it is a core part of me and is something that is beyond a passion. Her tolerance is atypical. I recognize that I'm lucky in this regard, and take steps to not overstep the leeway she provides me to do the things that I love. Sometimes I'm successful in this, and sometimes I screw up, but I do make the effort. Through it all she continues to love and support me, and I know very clearly that I am indeed a lucky man.

So when the subject of a dog came up, describing her response as "trepidation" would be a gross understatement. My wife is a devout cat person. She loves their independence, low maintenance, size, and attitude. In essence, what she loves about cats is everything a dog is not. Regardless, my tenacity on the subject was relentless, and I had the good fortune of getting help from my buddy JT.

Note that JT rarely is the source of help, at least from my wife's perspective. He's one of my fishing opener buddies, and clearly enjoys having a good time. The renown photo of him mooning the crowd at our wedding provides a great insight to him - fun, funny, inappropriate at times, and really disturbing from a physical anatomy standpoint all at the same time.

My wife and I had spent the weekend with him and his family on Ten Mile Lake, and part of his family included Sammy, a yellow dog out of Tom Dokken's kennels. Sam was a fantastic hunter, lived to fetch, and was an incredibly sweet family dog. My wife and I spent the weekend playing with Sammy and JT's kids - flinging sticks in the water for her to retrieve, then commanding "shake" at the end of the dock on her way back so that she'd shake the water out of her coat at a safe distance instead of getting you all wet, as most dogs want to do. My wife fell in love with Sammy, and finally gave me the green light to get a dog of my own, as long as "she was just like Sammy." Fat chance. Dogs like Sammy are once-in-a-lifetime.

Of course I made that promise, and of course it was one that I couldn't guarantee, and my wife bought it. Sucker!

While I'd not ever owned a dog before, there were three things of which I was sure in the path to getting one: 1) the dog would be female 2) she'd be a yellow lab and 3) her name would be Blitz.

As for the gender, there is debate in the dog community on the relative virtues of the different genders. Females have a reputation for being a little more anti-social with other dogs, are more messy unless they are spayed, and wreak havoc with a lawn. Males do a ton of peeing on everything, and can be distracted unless they too get fixed. There are myriad examples of dogs that don't fit these stereotypes, and at the end of the day either gender is just fine. However, since we were looking to acquire the new Sammy, it seemed the one thing I could guarantee would be that she at least have the same plumbing.

As for the yellow lab, while an alignment with Sammy existed there as well, I had already had my mind made up on breed and color. I wanted a dog that could hunt both ducks and pheasants, as well as be fun around people. For my money, one cannot find a better solution for that than a Labrador. As for color, shed yellow fur shows less on carpet and upholstery than does black or chocolate. Since Blitz would be an indoor dog, yellow would be the color for us. Second decision point complete.

Finally, her name. While a female she would be, she would also be a rough, tough hunting dog. My wife did not care, and wanted to call the dog Chardonnay, but there is now way I could see myself working a field with other hunters and dogs and calling out "Here, Chardonnay!" No way. Hence, I would give her a name that would be gender-neutral, and quasi-tough. Blitz seemed appropriate, and by appealing to my wife's German heritage, she eventually came around to the idea.

All the groundwork was in place. Now the only thing that was needed was the pup.

Go to Part 3

1 comment:

  1. I think chardonnay is an excellent name. Ohhhh Chardonnay. Or char for short. Like Emilyyyyyyy.

    Sam was a great dog and will forever be missed. Sam short for Samantha. You are kind to mention her on your blog.


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